Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said that South Korea and Japan have agreed to focus on producing measures to prevent a recurrence of the dispute over Japanese maritime patrol aircraft’s low-altitude flybys.
Minister Lee made the remarks on Sunday to reporters after talks with his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada on the margins of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, adding that the two sides agreed to resolve the issue beginning with working-level discussions.
Sunday’s defense discussions marked the first bilateral defense ministerial talks in three years and six months since November 2019.
The dispute over Japanese maritime patrol aircraft's unusually low-altitude flybys over South Korean warships in December 2018 and January 2019 was the biggest obstacle for defense exchanges between the two nations.
Seoul has taken issue with what it has decried as a "menacing" low-altitude flight by a Japanese patrol plane near a South Korean destroyer in December 2018, while Tokyo has accused the South Korean destroyer of having locked its fire-control radar on the Japanese plane.